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Zee Melt 2015: Parminder Singh and Martin Sorrell enthralled audiences

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | May 26, 2015
While Singh spoke about brands becoming a part of social conversations by using Twitter, Sorrell shared his views on India.

Day two of Melt 2015 concluded on a high note as audiences jostled for space to listen to Sir Martin Sorrell and Parminder Singh. The two-day festival of creativity in advertising and marketing, organised by Kyoorius, in partnership with ZEE, GroupM and D&AD, gave attendees and delegates a wonderful array of choices when it came to learning and discussions.

Singapore-based Parminder Singh, managing director, Twitter, Southeast Asia, India, Middle East & North Africa, took to the stage at Zee Mindspace to talk about the experience of using Twitter.

Singh spoke about how brands can connect to their audience via Twitter

He shared data that showed how during each FIFA World Cup match, there was a spike in tweets around the time of any goal; or for that matter, any near miss This meant that the conversation - about such sporting moments - was happening in real time on the platform.

"The offline experience is resulting in an online expression. The fulfillment, which used to be about the experience itself, is happening through an online communication," Singh said.

He explained the structure of the 'Loop' in online communication. First, the brand finds a way to connect with an offline stimulus, which can be a goal in a FIFA match. This creates online conversation and when followers take part, it leads to emotional fulfillment. In this way, they are connected to the brand in question.

However, he was quick to point out that the most important part is to understand which offline experience is going to create conversation online - factoring that in as brands is a vital step. For example, Dove chose the Oscar Awards night as a perfect occasion to tweet about its new campaign - 'Speak Beautiful'. The brand knew that, often, celebrities' attires would be rejected by the onlookers. However, it chose to ask people to speak positively - to speak beautifully, and thus the campaign became an instant hit.

According to Singh's data, there is a steady rise in tweets about sunrise, food and fitness. Therefore, according to him, "brands don't just have target markets any more. But, also target moments."

Singh asked brands to figure out what is the 'share of voice' a brand enjoys. Which means how many conversations are brands a part of? According to him, the building blocks of engagement are content superchargers and perfect moments.

Content superchargers depend on three key insights - consumers like to informed, they like to be involved and they love to be inspired, or be part of a cause higher than themselves. Lastly, he explained that in the mobile explosion age, all of us are co-creators of content - through tweets, status updates, pictures and videos. This is changing the content eco-system.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP plc, connected with the audience through a video conference and left everyone spellbound. Speaking about what differentiates WPP from any other agency in the world, he said that it is the talent, because that's the key to what the client looks for. Apart from that, application of technology, data and content also makes WPP stand apart from the rest.

The Martin Sorrell session in full swing

Speaking about mobile technology, Sorrell explained that it is inevitable that mobile content will become more and more important. It is doing a lot to stimulate creativity in programming and bringing new ideas for advertising.

He also touched upon the topic of marketers dealing with more partners. "It is going to get more difficult because everything is fragmenting. As it grows, it will become more so. Marketers will have to try and integrate into a modern coordinated way for client. Some clients try to do the integration themselves, and some through agencies. If you ask me, go with the agency," he advised.

He suggested three essential readings for anyone trying to understand this industry - the collection of essays by Jeremy Bullmore, David Ogilvy's Ogilvy on Advertising and finally James Webb Young's Little Advertising Pamphlet written in 1939.

He predicted that the WPP business in India will cross the $600 million mark soon. However, he is cautious of the business also because of the expectation post Modi being elected as Prime Minister. According to him, there is concern because though there is expectation, the government is not moving as fast as it was originally thought.

"That said, one must remember that practical realities are more difficult than what people think. The nation is moving in the right direction and moving fast enough according to me," Sorrell added.

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